JACK ANDERSON'S NOVEL TAKE ON UFO CONTROVERSY
Reviewed by Frank Perley
Do you believe in UFOs? Jack Anderson, investigative reporter and columnist extraordinaire, does. Or at least his latest novel raises the distinct possibility that he does.
Before dismissing the notion, consider the following: Official Washington has spent nearly 50 years denying the existence of UFOs. If you had, as Mr. Anderson has, spent a career carving through the deceit of official Washington, wouldn't you suspect that authorities were being a little less than forthright on the subject -- indeed, that there might even be a coverup in progress?
Welcome to "Millennium" (Forge, $22.95, 352 pages), in which Mr. Anderson uses his down-to-earth reporting style to tell a very unearthly story.
Every UFO tale requires an extraterrestrial, and Mr. Anderson's is an alien from an advanced civilization who specializes in the study of Earth. Ignoring a prohibition against contacting Earthlings, he arrives in Washington disguised in human form, to deliver a warning: Humanity's violent ways are antithetical to the harmony of the universe's life forms. Abandon the violence, or the Earth will be "cleansed" of human presence before it has a chance to infect other worlds.
The alien meets the same sort of misfortune that befalls many a naive Washington tourist until he gets assistance from an unlikely source: a pair of investigative reporters. Mr. Anderson cleverly writes himself into the story in the character of Mick Aaronson, who is a Washington columnist with decades of experience exposing federal fraud and waste. Sound familiar? As Aaronson's skepticism about this alien gradually is chipped away, Mr. Anderson likewise endeavors to undermine the reader's doubts about the existence of UFOs.
But if Mr. Anderson identifies as closely with his fictional surrogate as he appears to, why did he choose to make his argument for UFOs in the form of a novel rather than an investigative column? Read the book and discover your own answer to that tantalizing question.
DREAMLAND: A NOVEL OF THE UFO COVER-UP
With more than 3 million Americans believing that they have been abducted by extraterrestrials, the market's appetite for UFO novels is far from satiated. Dovetailing with the Anderson book is "Dreamland: A Novel of the UFO Coverup" (Forge, $22, 320 pages). Written by Hilary Hemingway, niece of Ernest Hemingway, and her husband, Jeffry P. Lindsay, the book also capitalizes on the widely held belief that the United States government knows a lot more about the UFO phenomenon than it is willing to divulge.
"Dreamland" derives its title from the long-suspected supersecret Air Force base in the Nevada desert, also known as "Area 51." It portrays a bitter struggle within the U.S. government between those who are fascinated by aliens and those who fear them.
Col. John Wesley, a veteran of the Cold War, wants to learn just enough from the aliens to use their own highly advanced technology to destroy them. But Maj. Mike Andros, with whom the creatures have selected to communicate, has his own agenda. It includes continuing his research on hybrid beings born from the crossing of human and alien genetic material.
Astronomer Annie Katz is unaware of the alien presence until her unborn baby disappears and her bizarre dreams about being abducted by nonhuman beings begin to crystallize into clear memories. Her desperate efforts to find her baby bring her unwittingly to ground zero in a deadly battle over the UFO presence.
Interest in UFOs is resurging, and the market for UFO-related information is heating up. Authors Miss Hemingway and Mr. Lindsay hit all the hot buttons -- abductions, alien-human medical research, hybrid babies, spaceship sightings and alien-generated advanced technology. For those who are into ufology (the study of UFOs) either for fun or for keeps, this is one you won't want to miss.
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